Back Celtics & Raptors With Your NBA Picks To Stay 'Under' The Total

Charles Stark

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 2:29 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016 2:29 PM UTC

In four out of the last five games, the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics have put up and allowed a healthy amount of scoring. Find out our NBA picks for tonight here.

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Free NBA Pick: Under 202½
Best Line Offered: at The Greek


NBA Odds Overview
NBA odds boards have the total of this game at 201 like at Pinnacle -105. Considering the final scores of their last few games and their first matchup earlier this season this total seems a bit low. However, both of these teams can play some solid defense so for my NBA pick, I will back under the total between the Celtics and Raptors.


Boston Celtics
Boston is averaging 103.6 points per game while shooting 43.2% from the field, and allowing 100.4 points per game on 42.9% shooting from the field. They are hovering right around 50% on the season on their over/under totals going 20-22 overall and 9-12 on the road. After a tough four game losing stretch the Celtics have bounced back winning three of their last four games with their most recent game a loss at Dallas. In their last three games they have been averaging totals well over 220 so I was a surprised this line did not come out a bit higher, nevertheless I think defensively, there are good reasons to back the under. Offensively, Boston pushes more tempo than any other team in the league averaging 89 field attempts per game which ranks first in the NBA. Percentagewise their numbers are only subpar ranking 25th in the league in overall shooting percentage and 28th from beyond the arc at 32.6%. Defensively, they are playing much better than last year although they do allow opponents to get off a lot of field goals attempts per game where they rank 20th in the league. Statistically, they are solid allowing just 32.1% in opponent shooting from beyond the arc which ranks fourth in the league, and 46.8% in opponent two point shooting which ranks sixth. They should be able to keep a tempo controlling team in Toronto in check throughout the night.


Toronto Raptors
The Raptors are averaging 100.6 points per game while shooting 44.1% from the field, and allowing 96.9 points per game on 43.7% shooting from the field. Like Boston they are around 50% on the year on their over/under totals going 21-20 overall and 11-7 at home, and like Boston they have improved their defense this season. Offensively, as mentioned, they have tried to control the tempo of games more so than last season limiting shots to just 81.5 per game which ranks 27th in the NBA. Although they have had three high final scores in their last three games averaging around 210 combined points, statistically, they are just subpar on the season putting the ball in the basket. Toronto shoots the three decently well at 35.5% per game but they only average 47.5% on their two point shots which ranks in the bottom part of the league. Both of those areas will be contested by a good defense in Boston that can defend from the inside out. The Raptors have relied a lot on their defense this season and it has paid dividends. They don't defend from beyond the arc particularly well allowing opponents to shoot 37.6% from distance, however they do rank in the top part of the league in opponent shooting efficiency, effective field goal percentage, and two point shooting percentage at 46.2% per game which ranks fourth in the NBA.

I expect a defensive battle tonight between these two in Toronto. Recently, they both have been in some high scoring affairs but don't expect that tonight. I recommend for one of your NBA picks to back under the total when Boston visits the Raptors in this Eastern Conference battle.

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